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WASHINGTON — The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will automatically mail new free Medicare cards to more than 300,000 people in Idaho next week.

New cards should arrive by the end of October. People can begin using them right away.

Social Security Numbers have been replaced with new identifying numbers on the cards to help fight fraud and protect people from identity theft.

There are no changes to Medicare benefits. Once you receive the new card, destroy your old Medicare card by shredding or cutting it up with scissors.

Medicare users should avoid scammers by knowing that the government will not call people asking for any personal information, Social Security numbers, bank information or for payment for the new card.

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